Definitions

un bleached

Chew toy

A chew toy is a toy designed to be chewed. Chew toys help to stimulate small animals and birds, and also prevent boredom. There are several different types including rawhide, wood, paper and mineral. Chew toys are commonly associated with puppies and dogs, though they are also used for birds, rodents, and rabbits.

Chew toys are a vital part of happy, healthy small animal life. In addition to providing hours of entertainment, they also allow the animal to work out anxiety and boredom through chewing, they distract small animals from chewing other "forbidden" items, and they assist in maintaining healthy teeth.

Rawhide

Rawhide chew toys are most often associated with puppies and dogs, though rawhide toys are plentiful in the bird toy section of most pet stores. Rawhide is suitable for all animals except herbivores, as it is made of animal skin. Rabbits, who only eat vegetation, cannot have rawhide toys because their digestive systems cannot process them. This is a more sturdy kind of chew toy and it can take months for a small animal or bird to destroy. Examples of rawhide chew toys are twists and rawhide bones. Compressed rawhide can splinter when dry as well as break off in large pieces then swallowed, and thus are usually not recommended for large breeds of dogs. Chew toys made up of leather is not recommended as chew toys for dogs as they are not properly dissolved in the stomach and might cause blockage in the intestines.

Wood

Wood chew toys are made of a safe, non-poisonous, softer wood and are often coated in bright, vegetable-based dyes or paints. Wooden chew toys are given in place of the wood that small animals would find in the wild. They are a safe alternative for a small animal owner to purchase, as most young bark/branches found in nature are lethal to small pets. They are offered to small rodents as toys, and should also be given to rabbits. Wooden chew toys help to keep teeth trimmed down, preventing eating difficulties in pets and unnecessary trips to the vet for teeth clipping. An example of wooden chew toys are Branch Bites (sold at Petco and PetSmart).

Paper

Paper chew toys are made of un-bleached, non-toxic paper. They are an inexpensive, and often relatively free, option for small pet owners and can provide hours of stimulation and play for small animals. One common paper chew toy is the empty toilet paper roll. These can double as tunnels for very small rodents, and can be used as modified pinatas for larger small animals. Wadded up newspaper pages, old spineless books, and Chubes (sold at Pet Supermarkets) are other paper chew toys.

Mineral

Mineral chew toys are made of flavored animal-safe minerals. These range from flavored fruit-shaped blocks for birds to ice-cream cone shaped mineral treats for rabbits. They also come shaped as bowls with fluffy minerals inside. A common mineral chew toy is the cuttle bone. A necessity in any bird's cage, it helps to keep nails and beaks trimmed and healthy. They can be purchased at nearly any pet store.

References

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